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Though it counts less than half the population of Slovenia’s national capital, Ljubljana, Maribor boasts a legion of important museums and galleries, its own university, one of the nation’s earliest theaters and a wonderfully atmospheric old town flanking the languid Drava River. Best of all, it is surrounded by hills, forests and vineyards. To the southwest is the Maribor Pohorje, a hilly recreational area that offers heaps of easy walks and more difficult hikes in spring, summer and autumn. There’s also a professional-level mountain bike park here with 30 obstacles running 2 1/2 miles through the forest. In winter, the Maribor Pohorje ...

Though it counts less than half the population of Slovenia’s national capital, Ljubljana, Maribor boasts a legion of important museums and galleries, its own university, one of the nation’s earliest theaters and a wonderfully atmospheric old town flanking the languid Drava River. Best of all, it is surrounded by hills, forests and vineyards. To the southwest is the Maribor Pohorje, a hilly recreational area that offers heaps of easy walks and more difficult hikes in spring, summer and autumn. There’s also a professional-level mountain bike park here with 30 obstacles running 2 1/2 miles through the forest. In winter, the Maribor Pohorje transforms itself into Slovenia’s largest ski area, with 50 miles of slopes, 22 miles of cross-country runs and 20 tows and lifts. And for oenophiles, Maribor is the gateway to the Mariborske and Slovenske Gorice wine-growing regions, famed for their whites (notably Riesling and Pinot Blanc). But most people know Maribor for the Lent festival, a two-week celebration of folklore, culture and music that is one of the largest in Slovenia.

Steve Fallon
About the Expert

Steve Fallon has more than two dozen years of experience as a travel writer and guidebook author, having written or contributed to some 80 Lonely Planet and other guides.

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Steve Fallon for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northeastern Slovenia, near border with Austria
  • Language: Slovenian and Italian
  • Currency: Slovenian Tolar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Midsummer (June and July) for Lent festival; winter for skiing and snowboarding; rest of the year for hiking, trekking and biking.